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SRINAGAR — During the ongoing pandemic when parents are putting in their hard efforts to raise school fee and other expenses of their children, educational institutes and coaching centers are under lot of criticism for fleecing them in the name of virtual coaching.

Several parents complained against these institutions. Coaching centers in particular have been criticised as they are charging them full amount when no offline class has been conducted since March 2020 when COVID-19 was declared universal pandemic.

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A group of parents said that the owners of coaching centers are charging them full tutorial amount for few weekly online classes which is injustice with them. They said that with the closure of coaching centers, the owners have saved a lot of money which normally they would incur on overheads like maintenance, housekeeping, electricity bill and rent; however, no rebate was given to the parents most of whom have lost their jobs while the salary of many has been curtailed.

“We are known as a society of philanthropists but it seems that the marketing managers of the education are perhaps without any heart,” they said.

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One of the parents, while turning emotional, said, “Where has our empathy gone, which we exhibited time and again to help co-citizens, whenever any bad situation took over us.”

He said that logically the owners of the coaching centers should have voluntarily waived off a portion of tuition fee to help the parents as tutorials were given in online form and not a single offline class was held since the pandemic took over. “But ironically, our children are being charged full amounts which are prescribed for offline classes by them,” he said.

The parents appealed coaching center owners to have mercy on them and waive of a portion of the coaching fee which they either paid in full or in half and thus help them to cope up with the unprecedented financial problems, they are presently faced with.

They also requested the authorities to look into the matter, come to their rescue and save them from being fleeced.

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Meanwhile, one of the representative of a reputed coaching center having a national chain said that they had enrolled 1500 students for coaching during the current year but at the same time admitted that only 500 students were given classes and that too online.

When asked about the reimbursement of fee to the students who have not been able to attend online classes, the representative said that they are waiting for government to take a call regarding the subject.

Another coaching center owner, who charges an amount of 40,000 annually from each student, said that they have not received full amount from any students so far.

He said, “So far we have received only partial payment against the tutorials from the students.”

We may not be able to reimburse any amount this year, but we will consider to waive off a percentage of tuition fee for the enrolled students in the next session, he added.

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